Raj Sidhu knows Salesforce inside out. From a graduate placement at our Staines office, to leading Tandem Bank’s Salesforce implementation, the Business Systems and Process Manager shares his unique insight on the platform, community, and why it’s important for business leaders to run so others can walk.


When did you first encounter Salesforce, and how has it shaped your career?

Ten years ago, I completed a work placement with Salesforce as part of my degree. I hadn’t heard of Salesforce, but I was amazed by what I saw and how many organisations were using the platform to transform the way they work. I quickly knew I wanted to work with the Salesforce platform and shortly after graduating I landed a job supporting the sales team at Play.com.

Following that I held positions at Groupon and IG Group, before starting my current role at Tandem Bank.

I’ve seen how Salesforce is used at different companies, across multiple verticals, and have learned a lot about how it can drive success and take customer service to the next level.


What do you love about your current role?

Tandem Bank was a good fit because it allowed me the opportunity to take ownership of our Salesforce platform. There is also a real buzz around disruptor banks so I was really excited to be working in the FinTech space.

I joined shortly after Tandem had made the decision to implement Salesforce, a decision that both the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operations Officer were heavily invested in.

Having great technology and senior management buy-in is a match made in heaven and makes my job so much easier. Over the past few years, I’ve been working on bringing their vision to life, which has been really rewarding.


How is your Salesforce background helping you succeed at Tandem Bank?

Having hands on experience with Salesforce in a few different environments and seeing how Salesforce uses the platform itself was eye opening. The potential of the platform is huge, and we still have more capability to unlock. I’d estimate we are using around 60% of the functionality available to us right now, and it costs nothing to untap that extra 40% and maximise our ROI.

The culture and Salesforce community has also been valuable to me. It’s a small world and I have found that people really step up to share ideas and help each other out.

I’m a big advocate of Trailhead too. I’m a Ranger and I often use the platform to train my peers. The free content is brilliant for understanding the theory and I can always follow it up with real life examples. I really like that Trailhead is linked to the Trailblazer, not the organisation, so people can take their achievements with them as their career progresses.


What achievement are you most proud of at Tandem Bank?

With limited resources, at Tandem Bank we have delivered a true single agent desktop through Salesforce. This has allowed us to empower our agents and ultimately provide better experiences to our customers.

The value in centralising operational tooling in Salesforce was further realised during the pandemic. At short notice, agents were required to take their laptops home and were able to carry on working seamlessly, with no disruption to service – CSAT actually improved – and as a consumer that definitely wasn’t my experience with a number of other organisations during the first lockdown.

That being said, I didn’t achieve it alone, having the support from our senior management, engineering teams, and operational end users has contributed to the overall success.


Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out with Salesforce?

Keep things simple – humans love to over-complicate things. Salesforce is very customisable, but that doesn’t mean you should dive into customisation right away. The platform is designed to make it really easy to create an industry-leading experience using clicks not code, and a lot of thought has gone into the out-of-the-box functionality.

When I was starting my career in Salesforce, I wish someone had told me to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and save the expensive customisation for times when it’s really required.


How does Salesforce inspire you as you look to the future?

I’m always excited to find new ways of enhancing our current implementation, but for me Salesforce is more than a technology. It’s a true force for good in the world.

I love reading customer stories and learning about the inspirational ways other people are engaging with the technology.

I also really admire that the company takes its social responsibilities seriously. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where it’s normal to see women in powerful positions, where the gender pay gap is a thing of the past, and where companies everywhere are doing everything they can to fight climate change.

Salesforce leads by example and businesses need strong leaders to shape a future that’s better for everyone.


To find out more about how Tandem Bank has transformed customer support, read the full story here.